Monday, December 21, 2009

Feeling the love

I'm writing this post to thank all the media outlets that recommended as a source for holiday gifts for boaters over the past several weeks.

The love started pouring in way back in October when Alan Sorum included BoatNameGear in his article, Unique Christmas Gifts for Boaters, which was posted in Alan's Boating & Sailing blog on Suite101, as well as in a print boating publication in Long Island.

Being featured in the Florida Keys Fishing Examiner warmed our hearts so that we felt like we were actually in the Florida Keys! Thanks to author Christy Johnson for chumming the waters on Black Friday with our special offers of the day.

The love continued with a story by Ericka Watson, the Powerboating guide, who wrote, "By personalizing an item for the boater in your life, you are meeting a practical need with a personal touch." Ericka then went on to discuss BoatNameGear and the products we offer.

The most unexpected endorsement came from the printed Lake Wylie Pilot (Lake Wylie, S.C.), where the author included BoatNameGear's products among those "that as a boater myself I would love to have." A similar story appeared in a blog that included BoatNameGear in their "Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Carolina Boaters."

If we missed someone, please post it here. And thanks to all the writers, bloggers, twitterers (tweeters?) and facebookers who helped get the word out about what great holiday gifts can be found at BoatNameGear.

We're doing our best to live up to all of your recommendations.

I only hope that the high expectations of some of our recent customers are a result of great service that they've received from us in the past. I further hope that we meet or exceed those expectations - in quick service and quality, personalized products. It's too late to get any more personalized gear from our store, but you can still get a gift certificate with all the thoughtfulness of our gear and the flexibility to buy and receive the gift right up through Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Good Business

Sometimes it's the simple things that keep successful companies ahead of the competition.

Mar-Lan Industries is a 50+ year old Texas-based supplier of electrical products to the marine industry. 12 days ago Jim Desai, the company's CEO, posted a small but sincere offer for a free calendar in a group I run on LinkedIn for boaters to network with each other (FirstBoat Business Networking Group).

I was impressed that Mar-Lan - a B2B company - seemed to get social media. The offer was from the CEO himself, and he didn't "spam" the discussion group with a blunt message like "Click here to view our electrical accessories" - he was smart enough to know that people viewing the offer in his post could find out more about his company if they were so inclined.

I signed up that day to get a free calendar.

And within 7 business days, I had my new calendar (pictured here). Turns out it's a nice wall calendar with motivational slogans on each page below pictures of outdoor adventures - from kayaking to surfing to mountain climbing. Mar-Lan also sent a "happy holidays" note on company letterhead with the contact info for their key customer-facing employees. Oh, and of course the calendar has Mar-Lan's contact info including web address across the bottom of the calendar so that I'll look at it all year.

Now, I am admittedly not necessarily Mar-Lan's target audience. But if anyone ever asks, I'll speak of Mar-Lan with a warm fuzzy feeling because they gave me something for nothing. And heck, I might even blog about them...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BoatU.S. Contest Again

I'm pretty proud that BoatU.S. has decided to give away $200 worth of personalized apparel from our store, BoatNameGear, in their September contest.

BoatU.S. has a new contest each month - Members are entered to win a prize just for signing into the members-only website (

This marks the 2nd time within four months that BoatU.S. has called upon BoatNameGear to provide the prize (previous contest was June 2009.)

Perhaps they chose BoatNameGear again because we helped BoatU.S. drive new or existing members to their site? I don't know. Or perhaps they received feedback similar to what we heard from the winner of the June contest. Here's an excerpt:
Recieved my order yesterday and am very happy with the merchandise. I am extremely pleased with the mat.
You must be very pleased with the quality of your work, it is a very high quality.
Thank you so much.

A satisfied customer

So, if you want to try to win $200 worth of stuff with your boat name on it for free, sign up to be a BoatUS member by September 30th, or visit

By the way, we're currently offering a 10% discount to BoatU.S. members on all orders at BoatNameGear. This is exclusive to BoatU.S. members only through this link to BoatNameGear. (Fine print: Not valid on past or existing orders or in conjunction with other offers; may end at any time.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Welcome to CA World WiFi

Glad to have CA World WiFi on board as a new advertiser at

It's really a great fit - CA World WiFi, based in Florida, provides WiFi equipment for all environments, and specializes in providing solutions that are tailored for harsh outdoor environments. They know what saltwater, wind and rain can do to sensitive electronics and build products accordingly.

With's position in Google for keywords related to Wi-Fi and marinas, CA World couldn't have picked a better site to sponsor!

If you run a marina - or any outdoor establishment - and want a better solution to offer Internet to your patrons, please visit CA World WiFi or call them at 561-245-7823.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Remember the Mining Company?

When "" was first created more than 10 years ago they were called the Mining Company. I remember thinking that the name didn't make sense as far as memorable URLs go, but I also remember "" didn't do anything for me either.

Well, ten years later and that's all changed now that actually DID do something for me.

As of today, the Powerboating Blog on is featuring our store, BoatNameGear, as the place to shop for great father's day gifts for boaters.

Actually, their exact words were:
With Boat Name Gear - you can order polo shirts, hats, sweatshirts and even fender covers and welcome mats that are personalized with the name of the boat. What better way to honor Dad this Father's Day than with an item that can be used for years to come?

Many thanks to Ericka (yes with both a "C" and a "K") for thinking of us!

Monday, June 1, 2009

BoatUS featuring our store

This happened pretty fast, but as of this morning BoatNameGear is an official sponsor of a contest on BoatUS for the entire month of June 2009.

So, if you want to try to win $200 worth of stuff with your boat name on it for free, sign up to be a BoatUS member by June 30th.

Click here to join BoatUS now - it's less than $20, and you also get 10% off any purchase at BoatNameGear with your membership, so you can pretty much get your money back before you're done shopping for Father's Day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our Little Contest

I am honored that a team of young women that is planning to row a boat across the Atlantic has chosen me to help them name their boat.

It is such a big honor, in fact, that I can't do it myself.

That is why I enlisted Ask the Boater to help start a contest to let people from all over the country help them pick a name.

It is a testament to the team that we were able to scrape together over $650 in prizes in a very short amount of time, and by the end of the month the girls should have hundreds of names to choose from.

There are a couple of different ways to suggest a boat name and enter the contest. For starters, please visit our friends at Ask the Boater, or our own boat name blog.

I am also psyched that Alan Sorum, publisher of has found interest in the team, and has written about them and the contest at his blog on Suite 101.

Last but not least, an interesting array of sponsors has stepped up to support the contest, including Perricone and several others.

Please keep the boat names coming in!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thanks to NBOA Marine Insurance

When new boaters realize that boats need insurance, they usually turn to the National Boat Owner’s Association (NBOA), Marine Insurance Agency, on the web at

NBOA gets it, because they do more than just sell boat insurance. First of all, they specialize - they only insure boats, so they probably already know what YOU need and can be trusted to guide you to get the right coverage for your new boat.

Second, they don't just give quotes and play the numbers game. Instead, they provide useful, free information, such as this primer on boat insurance.

Third, it may sound obvious, but believe it or not this is not true of all insurance agencies - NBOA offers low rates AND only provides top-rated insurance to their customers.

Best of all, they understand the value of a good story and had the good sense to publish our list of top ten boat names on their website in their marine industry news page.

For that, and for providing great service to boaters, we say "thank you" to NBOA.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Top boat names picking up steam

Thanks to Alan Sorum for writing about the top boat names on his blog at Suite101, and also to the Hartford Courant and The Des Moines Register for posting the list in their fine publications.

Seems like even though there is too much snow and ice to boat in many parts of the country, boat show season and people's affinity for lists is keeping this story topical.

If you'd like to discuss a strategy to get publicity for your organization, or if you are an editor or blogger and would like to carry a story about the top boat names in your publication, please contact us via our online contact form or email (andrew [at]

Monday, January 19, 2009

Press Release on Top Boat Names

This hit Google News today almost immediately after posting it to PitchEngine, the social media PR builder. After today, I would highly recommend PitchEngine to anybody looking to get their press release into the news stream quickly.

Anyway, here's the release that went out in its entirety:


FirstBoat Announces the Most Popular Boat Names of the Year

Top boat names of 2008 compiled from the leading network of nautical sites

Hartford, CT, January 19, 2009 -, the premier online destination for new boaters, today announced its list of the most popular boat names of the past year. The list, compiled by in collaboration with,, and the Boat Name Blog, includes nautical puns, tributes to recent movies and TV shows, and an overall celebration of the boating lifestyle.

Following are the top ten most popular boat names for 2008:

1. Happy Ours
2. Carpe Diem
3. Aqua - Holic
4. State of Mind
5. Anchor Management
6. The Office
7. Feelin' Nauti
8. Yes Dear
9. Sundance
10. Serenity Now

Several of the boat names on the list, such as “Happy Ours”, “State of Mind” and “Carpe Diem”, reflect how much enjoyment people derive from the boating lifestyle. In fact, the popularity of these particular boat names may suggest that boating, for some, offers a temporary respite from the unremitting news about a distressed economy and record-high fuel prices which were experienced during the peak of last year’s boating season.

In general, most of the names on this year’s list of top boat names illustrate that boaters are imaginative and passionate individuals who like to have fun.

About Nautical Sites
Nautical Sites is a new media company comprised of a growing network of websites for boating and yachting enthusiasts. Included among the many sites in the network are:, founded in 1999, is the premier online destination for new boaters and is home of the original Boat Name Machine, featuring over 50,000 possible boat names; online at

The Boat Name Blog offers interactive boat naming advice at is the ultimate source for personalized boating gear, offering high quality shirts, hats, towels, robes, tote bags and welcome mats, embroidered with your boat name; located online at is one of the web’s leading vinyl lettering supplier to recreational boaters, featuring an easy-to-use online design tool and personal service, online at

Media Contact
Andrew Canepari,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Brunswick keeps on cutting

I thought they were done with the hacks and plant closures months or at least weeks ago, but I guess they were waiting until after the holidays.

Earlier in the week, Brunswick unloaded their Albemarle boat brand, and now just yesterday they announced a series of production cuts and layoffs including plans to "idle" a major production plant in Riverview, Tennessee.

Anyone remember a time when it was "safe" to work for a big company?